LTFRB to stand firm versus Grab, Uber

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 18, 2017

Before the end of the month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will start apprehending drivers accredited by ride-hailing companies and impound their cars if they continue to operate as public conveyances without franchises.

"The TNCs agreed to fully comply with the rules at the time they were granted accreditation".

The LTFRB clarified that ride sharing services are not suspended but only those with CPCs or PAs may be allowed to operate.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III gave an assurance that they would consider the concerns of all commuters - not just Uber and Grab users - in an upcoming technical working group (TWG) meeting which would decide the fate of the TNVS drivers.

"Apart from operating without franchises, some drivers were also found trading franchises among them, " the LTFRB statement said.

Lizada noted that the TNCs also failed to comply with other requirements such as IDs for drivers and company signage on the vehicles while numerous complaints of rude and abusive TNVS drivers were also received by the board.

With majority of Uber and Grab drivers affected, TNVS users have been coming to their defense.

"We can not have one rule regarding colorum for them and another rule for the rest of the modes of public transport, i.e. bus, UV express, taxi and PUJs".

"Where service is imbued with public interest and no less than the safety and welfare of the riding public is concerned, regulations become priority", Delgra said.

Delgra added that the TNCs have to show "good faith" by complying first while LTFRB creates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to discuss issues such as accreditation and pending applications, and the core issues of accountability and dynamic pricing scheme as a way to move things forward. "We expect the TNCs to be candid, accurate, complete and transparent in submitting all the data and information the Board will need in addressing the issues", according to the LTFRB.

Both Uber and Grab have stated that they will not deactivate their partner drivers for the meantime as they seek to coordinate with the government to craft policies that aim to ensure a level playing field among TNVS and taxi operators and improve the quality of public transportation in the country.

Others criticized the agency for targeting a service, which they have deemed more dependable than other means of public transport such as the jeepney and regular taxis.

On its part, Uber said: "We will not deactivate".

The LTFRB appealed to Uber and Grab not to turn the commuters against them as they are only duty bound to enforce the law.

So far, the petition has gotten more than 100,000 signatures, accompanied by testimonials.

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